March 16th, 2012
Underground Vaults & Storage understands the role business records play for your company and security of that information is our top priority. For this reason, our facilities are equipped with state of the art security systems. Three of our facilities are located deep underground with limited physical access. Additionally, through authorized access, you control who can access the information stored at our locations.
The difference between a records information management company and a storage facility is service AND security. We are available to service you 24/7/365. Allow Underground Vaults & Storage to be an extension of your staff, part of your team, a partner in reducing your operating cost and improving your business work process efficiencies, without adding salaries, benefits or continuing education to your budget. Your internal staff concentrates on improving your core business, while we provide the professional information management services you require.
Some types of records require special environmentally controlled conditions that are both unique and expensive to provide. You don’t need to tie up your assets and expensive office space, let us do that for you. Underground Vaults & Storage is constantly reviewing new methods and technologies to keep your records safe, secure, and accessible to you.
We know how important it is to have an emergency disaster plan to safeguard your information. Should the worst happen, a good plan will help you move quickly to recovery. UV&S is accustomed to these needs and we can help you to meet those special requirements, develop disaster plan and get your company back up and running in a quick recovery time. Contact UV&S today for a free needs assessment email@example.com
December 30th, 2011
Don't let your files look like this
Tis the season to be jolly………..NO, WAIT…..that season has passed. Tis the season to start preparing your 2011 business records for proper storage. Although this is not one of our favorite things to do each year (and there is no catchy song to go with it), it is something we should all do to assure the information is available when we need it in the future.
Not sure where to start? Here’s a link on IRS guidelines for RIM. This is just a starting point, as there are also industry specific guidelines to pay attention to.
We know how busy everyone is during the start of the year, so we are here to assist. We have experienced personnel in RIM best-practices who can help take the stress out of putting order to your record keeping. Whether you just need some advice, or you want to have our experts come to your location and do the work for you, help is just a click away!
As we ring in 2012, our sincere best wishes for a safe (for you and your records) and a very prosperous New Year!
November 22nd, 2011
How long do you need to keep old records? Well, it varies. There are the fairly standard IRS rules to live by, but some industries have additional guidelines and regulations. Some feel that the best answer is to keep everything forever. Because of space and legal issues, this causes more problems and should be avoided.
It makes sense to try and find the record retention schedule for your specific industry. For some, that may simply be the IRS guidelines.
For others, more specific industry retention schedules may be in order. Here is an example of local government records retention schedules.
Finding retention schedules for your specific industry shouldn’t be too difficult, but you may want some additional confirmation that you have all the bases covered. If you need help putting a records retention plan in place, we’d be happy to help.
November 17th, 2011
Here at UV&S, we can connect you with Certified Records Managers to help you formulate strategies, set objectives, assign tasks and more. But what exactly is a Certified Records Manager?
Records management, or RM, is the practice of maintaining the records of an organization from the time they are created up to their eventual disposal. This may include classifying, storing, securing, and destruction (or in some cases, archival preservation) of records.
Many colleges and universities offer programs that cover records management to one degree or another, but the Certified Records Manager distinction requires a separate, non-degreed professional certification.
The Institute of Certified Records Managers has this to say about the certification process:
Attaining the CRM designation is based on educational background, professional work experience and the passing of a six-part examination.
The six-part examination is divided into:
- Part 1 Management Principles and the Records Management Program
- Part 2 Records Creation and Use
- Part 3 Records Systems, Storage and Retrieval
- Part 4 Records Appraisal, Retention, Protection and Disposition
- Part 5 Technology, Equipment & Supplies
- Part 6 Case Studies
Read more about Certified Records Management certification here.
September 13th, 2011
Digital records make life easier, no doubt about it. But nearly all businesses still deal with records that aren’t digital, and contrary to popular belief, scanning paper documents can cost much more than simply storing them, both short and long-term. It is estimated that 90% of the world’s data bank still exists on 1/2 open reel tapes. Converting all of that data to digital would be a monumental task, even if one were so inclined.
Digital conversion can be costly, and in the case of older records or documents that only need to be accessed occasionally, it isn’t very beneficial. Technologies and media change, but the need to store them remains the same. When weighing the cost of conversion to newer media, it makes sense to evaluate the alternatives.
When same day retrieval just isn’t fast enough, a scanning and imaging system that converts records to a digital format make sense. For many other records that require infrequent access, secure, maintained and accessible storage may be the most cost-effective option.
If you need help figuring out the best solution for your situation, don’t hesitate to call. With experience in both conversion and storage, we can point you in the right direction.
August 5th, 2011
Not that long ago, small business security meant locking the front door on the way out. Times have changed, and small business owners find themselves needing to address the security of not only their physical property, but also their intellectual property and everything in between.
Some small business owners still believe that they don’t need to worry much about security, thinking who would want to target my business when there are so many bigger targets out there. And while it may be true that small businesses are targeted less frequently than larger businesses, there are still plenty of reasons to be concerned.
Large businesses have more resources to address security and their security is becoming tighter, making small businesses a more tempting target. Low hanging fruit gets picked first. Many online attacks cast a wide net, hoping to catch what they can with a virus or worm. And not all security threats come from outside the office.
Determining whether you decide to handle all of your security needs yourself or hire someone to help may rest on several factors, but it mostly comes down to just a few.
For computer management and security:
Do you have the expertise to do it yourself, or the time to learn? Are there special compliance rules for your industry? There are plenty of resources available online to help you along, but if you are starting from scratch, it’s going to take a while. Microsoft has a guide here that is a good, generic place to start.
For physical document management and security:
Industry compliance is once again an important factor, but space to store all of your records in a way they can be accessed may be the overriding issue. The eventual destruction of these records may also be subject to compliance guidelines. Take a look at some of our services here to get a better idea of what is involved.
Photo courtesy of Flickr user Johan Larsson.
July 5th, 2011
It can be difficult for a doctor to retire, but it doesn’t have to be.
Patient medical records don’t go away just because a doctor closes up shop and prepares for retirement. And it may be months or even years down the road when a patient has need of a specific document. Without proper planning, doctors can find themselves stuck sifting through old paperwork rather than sifting sand through their toes at the beach.
The best plan, of course, is to find someone else to manage all of that old paperwork for you, but medical records come with rules, compliances, legislation and security concerns. You need a partner who can jump through all of the hoops gracefully on a budget.
The right partner can ensure that all of your critical documents are securely stored and accessible when needed, and scan, convert and deliver documents on demand. By finding the right partner and then notifying patients and allowing them individual access to their records, a doctor can truly retire.
At UVS, we’ve been partnering with retiring doctors for years. We can store, manage and prepare for the eventual destruction of your medical records and the doctor can forget about them completely. Play with the grandkids, enjoy a round of golf, or take a vacation to the moon we’ll handle it from here.
June 24th, 2011
The paperless office is a little bit like Bigfoot. A friend of a friend may have heard about someone who swears they have seen one, and there might be a grainy video on YouTube about it, but there is little verifiable evidence to be found on the phenomena.
But didn’t all the futurists of yesteryear predict that we would live in a paperless society by now? Well, some did, anyway. I’m still waiting on that personal hovercraft that I was promised, as well. And it’s anyone’s guess which will happen first.
We may actually use more paper now than ever as we constantly print out emails, blogs and Powerpoint presentations. And even with all of the technological advances in data back-up, some critical information still requires hard copies. As the quality of online viewing and reliability of data back-up continue to improve, we are seeing a reduction in paper usage in some areas even as it expands in others.
Even an office that has successfully eliminated paper use internally still has to deal with clients and vendors who haven’t. For now, we are inching along a winding path that may or may not ever lead to a truly paperless office. In the meantime, your best bet may be to implement a cost-effective capture strategy that allows you to handle media of all kinds.
June 17th, 2011
The reasons to store records off-site are many in number and vary from industry to industry. However, there are some basic reasons that every organization should consider that directly impact productivity and profitability. Here are five main reasons to include off-site storage in your records management strategy:
5. Save valuable office space
Maybe you need to free up space so you can move around without bumping into things. Or maybe you can use that space to do something that actually makes money.
4. Geographic separation of records
It doesn’t take a climatologist to see that natural disasters can destroy property along with the records inside. Storing your records off-site can help in keeping a bad situation from becoming worse.
3. Security of information
Information security, and the lack there-of, is the stuff of headlines that you do not want to be associated with. It isn’t enough to think you have it covered. Know that we have it covered for you.
2. Management of information
Old records can get misfiled, damaged or lost when you keep them on-site. But you may still need to access those files occasionally. Well, off-site storage can allow for all the access you need. And with bar-code tracking and a team of management specialists, you’ll likely get the document you need faster than if you were digging for it yourself.
1. Cost savings
For less than the cost of a local storage unit, UV&S can typically store your items, move them into storage for you, and process them using bar-code tracking. The cost goes down after that, and records management can be paid on an as-needed basis.